Bamfield:Past and Present

It’s impossible to explore the West Coast of Vancouver Island without encountering fascinating aspects of the past. Bamfield is one of those places. All good students of Canadian history know that this is where the transpacific telegraph line terminated. ( This telegraph line connected all the former and current British colonies.)

In addition to learning about recent BC history, we also spent three hours with Wisquii, our tour guide on the Kiixin experience. We hiked through gorgeous old growth forests to the site of the former Kiixin village from the 1800’s Although he was trained as a teacher, our guide was foremost a master storyteller and we were captivated by his tales of the huu ay aht.

Has anyone ever heard of a “culturally modified tree?” Check out this one on the path to the Kiixin village:

A CMT is one that’s been altered by indigenous people as part of their traditional use of the forest. In the case of this tree, it was examined to see if it was worthy to be a canoe, but it didn’t make the cut.

Now, onto modern day Bamfield which is a thriving town, despite its remote location. It is the home to the Bamfield Marine Science Center which is formed by a consortium of five western Canadian Universities. This is a center where research flourishes. Anyone recognize which adorable sea creature inhabited this skeleton? (adorable is the main clue!)

By far, the cultural highlight of the entire trip was attending the MusicByTheSea performances. (Check out their website at After attending one concert, we decided that we should prolong our stay and take in two more. The musicians are world class, and the director is such a visionary.

How’s this for a most spectacular venue? (I think I need help from a thesaurus is that “spectacular ” seems to have become my favorite word during this trip.)

We were also impressed by the simplicity of descriptions in Bamfield. ( Bill and Cathy Norrie told us about this, but we had to see this ourselves!)

So this marks the end of the “touristy” part of the circumnavigation. Next, Juan de Fuca Strait, then back to Sidney. Stay tuned!

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